Police "received a report that an airline pilot may have been under the influence of alcohol" at the airport in northwest England on Thursday morning, The Greater Manchester Police (GMP) force said.
Officers arrested a 62-year-old man just before 11 a.m. Thursday on suspicion of performing an aviation function while over the prescribed alcohol limit, the Manchester Evening News reported.
The man, whose name was not released, has since been bailed out pending further inquiries, a GMP spokesman told the outlet.
American Airlines confirmed that a member of its aircrew was detained at the airport Thursday. It said the flight, AA735 to Philadelphia, was canceled and passengers rebooked on other flights.
The airline said in a statement that "safety is our highest priority," and that it is "fully cooperating with local law enforcement" over the incident.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.